Do you know which are the most popular & best tourist places in India? While the ranks on the list keep changing, there is no doubt that Goa is a popular tourist destination in India, not only among the foreign tourist but also with Indians.
From the year 2000 to 2015, the domestic tourist arrival in Goa jumped by six times! The number of foreign tourists arriving in Goa has seen many changes, including the ethnicity and country of arrival over the last few years. Before the year 2008, tourists from the UK formed the largest percentage of the foreign tourists in Goa. However, in last few years steady rise of Russian charter pushed the Russian tourists to the second spot. Recently, sanctions over Russia by the NATO over Ukraine issue made their currency conversions to the Dollar expensive; the number of Russian charter arrivals dropped. Despite this British and Russians continue to dominate the foreign tourist arrivals in Goa. Ukraine, France & Scandinavia follows next.
What makes Goa and it’s beaches so popular?
For foreigners, it’s all about shining sun, clear sky & warm weather, good beaches, friendly locals and cheap accommodation & food. Goa fits well. With a long Portuguese rule lasting close to 450 years till 1961, Goa was primarily a catholic state and it’s culture was conducive for the foreign tourists with easy acceptance of alcohol and partying.
In 1960’s & 1970’s hippie culture landed in Goa at Anjuna beach. Goa became a popular place for the hippies across the world. Life in Goa was always dominated by the “siesta” and “sussegado”, both are a Portuguese legacy. With the arrival of charters, Goa quickly built a good infrastructure of low price hotels.
Availability of great sea food at cheap prices helped. You can walk into any popular supermarket in Goa and find aisles stocked with items imported from Russia, UK and USA catering to the long staying foreign charter tourists. This is unique to Goa only! You won’t find such variety of imported goods at any supermarket elsewhere in India.
At the same time, locals are not happy with the Russian charters tourists due to language problem & their low spending power. Compared to the charter tourists from UK who are warm, Russians are different. Anyways, Goa still is popular among foreign tourists for all that it offers.
Among Indians, Goa translates to “freedom”!! Goa has acquired a big reputation as the ultimate party destination in India with many clubs and cheap & easy availability of liquor. Unlike other places in India, Goa has a different culture. Locals don’t mind the omnipresent party culture in a stark contrast to the rest of India where alcohol and partying is a taboo.
For youths, a trip with friends to Goa is an ultimate dream. Water sports in Goa is cheap and easily available across North Goa beaches. It’s also a big attraction among tourist. Goa also attracts Indians interested in gambling. Although gambling is prohibited in India, Goa is an exception. Offshore gambling casinos like Deltin Royale, Casino Pride, Deltin Jaqk previously called Casino Royale, Casino Pride 2 etc are very popular. Macau and Las Vegas are two most popular International gambling destinations for Indians. Goa on the other hand is a short gambling getaway; popular as a weekend gambling destination, quite like a pit stop! In sum, for Indians Goa is synonymous of a popular sentence in Gujrati – Majaa Ni life meaning life full of fun!!
Irrespective of nationality, Goa stands for fun and yes, Sun always Shine” on the beach!